Voice Liverpool Launches

‘Voice Liverpool’, a city-wide education programme led by Voice 21 and supported by SHINE Trust, has launched involving over 96 schools in the city.

Over the next three years the project will aim to boost the spoken language skills and literacy of local students.


Children from the poorest homes fall behind in the development of language and literacy from the earliest stages of learning. By the time school starts, their language skills can already be months behind their classmates. Due to the level of deprivation in communities within Liverpool, the issue is particularly significant in the city. In Liverpool, less than half (46%) of all disadvantaged children achieve a good level of language development in the Early Years, and just three in five (56%) reach the expected standard aged seven.

Voice Liverpool is based on a strong evidence base that improvements in students’ speaking skills and the quality of talk in the classroom can raise attainment in core subjects such as English, maths and science as well as enhancing their confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing.

In the first year, 36 primary and secondary schools 1 will be supported to boost students’ oral language skills through a consistent focus on oracy in Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3.

Neil Verdin, Headteacher at Pleasant Street Primary School, one of the participating schools in Liverpool city centre said: “Developing confident and articulate communication from an early age is the essential tool in ensuring children can transfer learning effectively across the curriculum and beyond. Voice Liverpool offers a fantastic opportunity for schools to work collaboratively; refining sophisticated teaching skills in oracy to ensure our children receive the best possible stepping stones to succeed.”

With support from SHINE, Voice 21 will work with teachers and schools across the city over the next three years to get talking in class and empower the young people of Liverpool to find their voice for success in school and life.

Voice Liverpool is just one of many programmes supported by SHINE’s Bridging the Gap fund. The fund supports innovative programmes across the Northern Powerhouse that aid better transitions between primary and secondary school and help children from disadvantaged backgrounds to thrive throughout secondary school.

Fiona Spellman, Chief Executive of SHINE said: “We are delighted to be able to support Voice Liverpool to boost oracy and language development and attainment among so many children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Liverpool.

“We believe that all children should be given the opportunity to achieve the best possible qualifications so they can leave school with real choices for their future lives. Voice Liverpool will enable many young children across the city to thrive throughout their time at school. We’re looking forward to working closely with this programme to understand its impact and help it to scale-up for the benefit of many more children.”

Professor Gavin Brown, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education at the University of Liverpool and SHINE Patron, said: “At the University of Liverpool we are strongly committed to ensuring that young people from all backgrounds can access education. It is fantastic to see the launch of an initiative such as Voice Liverpool, which will have such a positive impact on the attainment of children across the city. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the results of this pioneering programme and to see how it supports achievement and aspiration for many more young people in Liverpool.”

To follow updates from the programme search #VoiceLiverpool on twitter

Find out more here about our area programmes and partnerships or email hello@voice21.org

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